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The Treaty of Versailles

The timeline of the Treaty as according to the Treaty document itself, page 43: [1]

Treaty of Versailles

As part of the Treaty of Versailles, parts of the German territory were returned to its enemies. This includes Alsace-Lorraine which was seized from France in 1871 after the Franco-Prussian War. Belgium received Eupen and Malmedy; the industrial Saar region was placed under the administration of the League of Nations for 15 years; and Denmark received Northern Schleswig.

Germany after 1918

The Rhineland was to be demilitarized; that is, no German military forces or fortifications were permitted there (article 42, 43 and 44). In the east, Poland received parts of West Prussia and Silesia from Germany, to create a ‘corridor‘ to the Baltic Sea. In addition, Czechoslovakia received the Hultschin district from Germany; the largely German city of Danzig became a free city under the protection of the League of Nations; and Memel, a small strip of territory in East Prussia along the Baltic Sea, was ultimately placed under Lithuanian control. In sum, Germany forfeited 13 percent of its European territory (more than 27,000 square miles) and one-tenth of its population (between 6.5 and 7 million people).

Besides the loss of land, the Treaty of Versailles also made sure that Germany could have only a limited small army, a small navy excluding submarines and no air force. It would need to pay reparation for a total amount of 132 billion gold marks, which was included in the 1921 London Schedule of Payments. And Germany was to take the full blame of the war.

The Treaty of Versailles also included the creation of the League of Nations, of which Germany could not be part at that time. The League of Nations eventually became the United Nations in 1945.

The humiliation of the German people was complete, and the Treaty was for most part arranged by the French. Perhaps as reprisal for the Treaty of Frankfurt am Main which was signed after the Franco-Prussian war in 1871. The main terms of this Treaty was the territorial gain of Alsace-Lorraine to Germany, and a reparation sum of 5 billions Francs. German troops occupied France for three years until payment was completed in full.

Next Story: The Early 20s in Germany
Read Again: The Road to World War 2

[1] The Treaty of Versailles